Pineapple Express

Rated 4.0

In this week’s handout from the Judd Apatow movie-comedy empire, a stoner (why, Seth Rogen, of course) and his dealer (James Franco) run afoul of crooked cops and dueling drug lords, then run for their lives. Oh, but they also stop periodically to banter and get baked. Director David Gordon Green’s previous film, Snow Angels, was pretty much the opposite of an action-comedy buddy movie, so in a way Pineapple Express seems like a real achievement. OK, not quite. The script, by Rogen and fellow Superbad writer Evan Goldberg, from a story by them and producer Apatow, is all over the place but undeniably amusing and commendably sensitive to the nuances of male bonding. Particularly the infantile, lightly misogynistic and glibly violent nuances. Rogen risks ruining his affable deadpan with too much ham, but his chemistry with Franco goes a long way. And Danny R. McBride, as a higher-up on the weed chain, steals each of his increasingly ridiculous scenes.